The iTunes description for Simi‘s debut album, Simisola, simply reads as ‘a soulful punch of Afropop, shot through with sweetfulness’. After listening to the alternative body of work, one would have to agree with this concise but accurate description.
In other words, Simi’s album sounds exactly the way you thought it would. The only thing that is seemingly missing, just because its something you’d expect, is a Falz collaboration.
Apart from the fact that Simi didn’t pull any stunts or throw in any ‘out of character’ songs on her debut effort, any loyal Simi fan has heard a significant portion of the album before.
Simisola ends with the songs that made Simi a household name: ‘Tiff’ (2014), her breakout single, ‘Jamb Question’ (2015), ‘Love Don’t Care’ (2016) and ‘Smile For Me‘ (2017).
Simi begins her debut effort in a very classic way; a slow burning piano ballad. In ‘Remind Me‘, Simi reflects on some issues with the help of a soaring chorus, an instantly memorable melody and a minimal, yet dramatic, production. The dramatic introduction is immediately followed by her latest single, ‘Joromi.’
In terms of track listing placement, Simi does a brilliant job of placing her songs in a way that tells a compelling story musically. The transition from ‘Remind Me’ to ‘Joromi’, is seamless and makes for an easy listen.
‘Joromi’ picks up the tempo of the album with a colorful instrumentation raising Simi’s striking vocals. The colorful instrumentation of the live band is one of the main personas of this album. It comes back track after track, and each time it becomes even more infectious and brilliant than the last.
Simi goes on to borrow an iconic chorus from Chief Ebenezer Okay for her party ready jam, ‘Aimasiko’. The great thing about this song is that it transcends generations. Your grandmother will get up to dance to it and you will keep it on repeat for a while.
LYRICS: Simi – ‘Joromi’
The same goes for the comic, tongue-in-cheek track, ‘O Wa N’be’. We would really have loved to hear Falz on this song, which is reminiscent of ‘Foreign’, one of the tracks from her joint EP, Chemistry, with the rapper.
Simi’s longtime producer, Oscar, produced the entire album and he knocked it out of the park for the most part. With songs like the heart tugging ‘Gone For Good’, the inspirational tune, ‘Original Baby’ and the suggestive track, ‘One Kain’.
However, there are some tracks that were forgettable but could probably have been rescued if Simi had employed the services of another producer. ‘Complete Me’, ‘Angelina’ and ‘HipHop Hurray’ would probably have stood out as much more memorable tracks on the album if they had been produced by different beat makers.
There is no doubt that Simi’s debut will be compared with the debut of her boyfriend, Adekunle Gold, as both are musically quite similar.
The fact that Gold is the only featured artiste on Simi’s Simisola and Simi was also the only featured artiste on Adekunle’s Gold will definitely give their fans more material to use their theories about the relationship between the two.
The highly anticipated (and expected) duet, ‘Take Me’ featuring Adekunle Gold, lived up to expectations. It seems like the perfect edgy continuation to the story line that the two started last year with ‘No Forget’.
In all, Simisola, although quite predictable, definitely did not disappoint. It is one of the strongest musical pieces of 2017 and without a doubt a step in the right direction. While we hope Simi takes more sonic risks in the future, we cannot deny that we love her just the way she is.
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